Parabola Arts Centre

Client: The Cheltenham Ladies’ College

Year: 2009

Budget: £6 million

USITT 2012 Architecture Merit Award
RIBA Award 2011
Cheltenham Civic Design Award 2009
British Council for School Environments 2010 (highly commended)

This project involved the refurbishment of a Grade II* listed Regency villa to provide front of house and teaching accommodation, combined with a new 325-seat auditorium built to one side and connected via a glass link building. As well as being used by the College, the new theatre also hosts community events.

Around the site, new landscaping has removed existing car parking and reinstated the original 19th century garden layout with perimeter hedging and carriage drive. The project involved careful negotiations with the Conservation Authorities and local residents to provide a scheme that is sympathetic to the listed building and the Conservation Area in which it stands. English Heritage selected the project as an exemplar scheme for their ‘Constructive Conservation in Practice’ published in 2008.